Listen: An Interview with William Sadler of "The Shawshank Redemption"
"Next guest is played death an expert in Taichi. And if you're fortunate you may be able to have a sheriff you suck on the rooftop with them. Please welcome the incredibly talented legendary. Legendary William Sadler Bill. Thanks so much for being on the show today. You're very welcome. It's great to be here and I was looking at your twitter account. One of the funny anything that one of the quotes you have is it says that guy you know from that movie I have to save. Somebody doesn't know you or your work. They can't they can't consider themselves themselves a real movie Fan. That way I feel about it no I think I'm I guess I'm pretty well known in the you know within the business or among among die hard movie fans by now but I do but I I still fly under the radar somewhat. You know I can go to grocery stores him. Walk down the street in Chicago places. All the time and hear people say you look so familiar. Are you a Did I go to school with you. You know so part of that has to do with the fact that I you know. I guess they would categorize me as a character actor played in because I create characters when I work and sometimes they they you know they look different. One from another certainly certainly diverse. Going through your filmography. You've done it all and that's that's that's certainly a complement to your abilities. And I have to say you strike me as as a great sense of humor which is always refreshing. But the one thing my research bill when I was going through all this that really kind of popped off the pages. Is that really love. What you do and people are like well obviously well? It's not always. It's not always obvious because I interview people that I interview. Have you people that are actors or whatever they do athletes or whatever and sometimes it's like yeah and then I'm done I'm Yvonne. I feel like you just you love what you do and it's just when you research somebody like that. It's just it's just it's a complement to your. I don't know the right word is it's nice to you see. I guess we'll thank you. Yeah it's true I do Of always loved acting. I mean I think there was I guests. There was a period of time when When I was just starting out when I took it I took myself pretty seriously? I was you know I fretted over things and and make myself miserable. And if I didn't get the part I would get furious at myself. Well for the casting people or you know and eventually I guess the better angels is one out. I began to relax but I've always enjoyed. I've always loved the acting part of the business. The business end of it can be frustrating eating in boring and right but the but once once. You're once you're on the set or once you're on the stage and you begin the process assistive creating and interacting and the scene starts to crackle and lift off the page and become. You know you can feel it. Everyone everyone in the room can feel it when it's when it starts to it starts to take on a life and and it's just joyous it's really you know that's really that's exciting and it's still exciting. No and the funny thing is I find now as a you know. been doing this so long. That happens more and more and more. I I think I'm a better actor than I was when I used to worry about it. Quite so much right any kind of let things fall where they do and I have to say you've been for people that when they hear this and you've been so good for so long but one of the things you don't get credit for maybe. I'm just looking too hard at the screen. I feel like you. You've been in phenomenal shape for a long time. I feel like I'm like he's in fantastic shape. We're GONNA die hard. Is that like is that just kind of a result purposely do or. I'm not letting quite good shape. Now Greg gravity a cruel mistress no-one diehard to well that's a that's a great perception too because I was casting die hard to when I first got Los Angeles than I had already done about. Eleven years of theatre including Broadway a year and a half on Broadway so I had done an awful lot of acting already I mean professionally but I hadn't. I think I heard the third movie that I did. And there was no nude scene in it when I took when I took the role It just said a man doing Tai Chi Hotel Room and I actually didn't find out about the nude scene until the costume fitting Renny Harlin. The director was there and we tried on. Hold Different costumes for different. You know is uniforms and this and that and we finished up and I said what's he what's see wearing in the hotel room scene and Renny Harlin will actually bill. I was hoping that you would be new. And I thought and that was the first I heard of it and I thought about it for a minute. It wasn't in terrible shape but I wasn't. You know I wasn't in shape to you. Your bare ass is going to hang out in the biggest summer blockbuster action movie of the Year of the year. No this is the sequel to die hard everyone on the planet's going to watch this and so I said give me give me a trainer and get me into a gym mm-hmm and push that scene off to the end of the filming and I'll do it for you. That's awesome and they. That's what they did. So AH I. I lived in the gym. When I wasn't filming I was in the gym with a trainer? And you know. And that was the result I was pleased. I was in the best shape ever but that was a long time ago. Of course it was a lot of bills ago. Yeah that's true but I get that but over the course of your career and get gravity. Believe me I get gravity and put like I feel like you've always kind of had maybe something thing I'm looking at but I feel like yeah. You definitely have kept us. You know even if we could go green mile other movies you've been in great shape that's a testament to yourself and you mentioned your Broadway working. I'm going to get to that in a moment. I just think this is where your work ethic and your love for acting just screams. I mean wasn't eleven twelve years there's off Broadway Bill. Yeah that's we regional theatre Trinity Square Repertory Company in the world the Longworth Theater off Broadway and on and finally on Broadway with boxy Blues and Actually it's a it's shaped my it's shaped my career in an interesting way because When you work in the theater you you can't be late for work and can't you can't not know your lines You know they're all the other actors are counting on you. Big carrying your your ended things and if and if the audience if anything's going to happen in that theater it'll be because you and your fellow performers made it happen right in front of their eyes eight times a week. You know you pick this use from the curtain. Goes up for those two hours or whatever avert is there's no one could yell cut You can't go back and do it over you either you either. Well hit it or you don't hit it and I'd say it's the only advice I ever give. Young actors is do some Cedar get get as much theater under your belt as as you can because because once you get to the world of television in movies There isn't time to rehearse there's you're not gonNA get a month of rehearsal. And the editors are going to takeover and the directors cinematographers and. You're GonNa do you know the process gets cut up into little tiny pieces You'RE NOT GONNA get a chance to flex those muscles The way you do in the in the theater and I think it's just I think it's very important for the work work ethic for you know. Show up ready to work. Show you know can you. Can you pull it out of your budget three in the morning after. You've been waiting thirteen hours right. Well you can"